Today’s tea is another Assam, and this one is organic, fair trade, and from Arbor Teas, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I discovered Arbor Teas online a few years ago by chance, and have been very happy with the teas I’ve received from them. I especially like that their teas are organic, and many of them are fair trade as well. They also are a very green company, packaging their teas in compostable packages, as well as committing to other ways of reducing their carbon footprint. I’ve included a link at the bottom of the page to the Assam tea, so have a look around and investigate their site!
The tea leaves are dark brown, twisted, and with a fleck of gold here and there. The scent is malty and slightly earthy. When brewed the leaves turn a reddish-brown and dark green. Assam is arguably the most popular black tea, and is used in blends like German Breakfast or Irish Breakfast teas.
It is very fragrant in the cup, and the flavor is astringent, malty, and earthy. I much prefer it with a splash of milk, and this tea is made for it. Assam is one of my favorite teas, and I think I brewed it a bit too strong today. I customarily use two heaping teaspoonfuls for a standard size mug. This one could have used level spoonfuls. While it might seem fussy to split hairs this way, it can make a *huge* difference in the quality of your cup of tea. Incidentally, if you prefer a stronger cup like I do, you should use more tea rather than brewing the tea longer. Brewing the tea longer just lends itself to a bitter cup, not a better cup.
So, yes! I would add this tea to my rotation, adjusting the amount of tea used to brew it. It’s a perfect cup of tea for a coastal foggy day such as today.
You can get organic, fair trade Assam tea here: